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Code update draft includes policy changes | Letters | April 2
I was surprised when I read the current draft of the city’s land use code update.
The intention of the 2007 City Council, as I understood it, was to “implement our Comprehensive Plan by making sure our code accurately reflects the intent of the community in a clear and coherent manner.”
At that time, Planning Director Greg Byrne said the intent was to make the “code internally consistent and more user-friendly. It is not to modify the policies underlying the code.”
By contrast, the current draft of the update has many significant, substantive policy changes that are not readily apparent.
There are neither footnotes nor a separate itemization that list these changes. (Check our citizen comments on city’s Web site.)
At the March 18 Planning Commission meeting, a staff member stated that the current draft reflected “current Planning Department practices.”
Are these “current Planning Department practices” consistent with our current code or otherwise authorized by council?
If not, then the result of the update is a modification of the underlying policies of the current code.
Staff’s decision to incorporate “current Planning Department practices” into the draft goes far beyond the City Council’s directive to simply “re-organize,” make the code “easier to understand and utilize,” and “eliminate conflicts between chapters and titles.”
The current land use protections that reflect our Comprehensive Plan’s core values should not be undone by this update process.
Please take some time to speak out, in an informed manner, so that the few protections we have left are not undone.